I was 16 years old when the Lord put it on my heart to write my first book. I expected when I finally wrote it for the waters of the industry to part like the Red Sea before me. I knew I was doing the will of God. So why was it taking so long?! When Dan and I chose for me to stay-at-home with the kids because that is what we felt God wanted for this season, it was as if the wind was knocked right out of me. That was the furthest from what I knew God had called me to do long term, and for years I cried and fought depression. I grew to dread the question that always came when introducing yourself for the first time. “So what do you do?” people would ask. God called me to be a writer and minister of the gospel, so that’s how I responded. I have gotten some classic responses, from those who were sympathetic to one woman who kept insisting that it was my hobby and not my career because I wasn’t making anything as a writer at the time. Dan and I used to get in small squabbles anytime I found out he was telling people that his response to “what does your wife do for a living” ended with “she stays at home with the kids.” I would always groan and say with tears in my eyes, “You tell them I’m a writer who also happens to be staying at home! It doesn’t matter if I’m not making anything yet because one day I will!”
I have learned that whenever God calls you to do something often times you will go through a season first of feeling you couldn’t be further from where it is you know your called. Often times the feelings of, “am I ever going to get where I know God has promised?” will become your worst enemy. Think about it. Joseph spent three years in prison for something he didn’t do, that was far from the dreams he’d had about his brothers bowing before him. Jesus worked as a carpenter before his time in full time ministry. We have to learn to go through the process to get to what we know God has spoken. We have to learn to see ourselves where God has called us and not to let go. We have to learn that the words we speak have power. We have to realize that how we see our future will determine if we’ll get there or not. If we see ourselves being stuck where we are right now forever, we’ll never obtain what God is saying. We must see ourselves where God has promised. We must see ourselves victorious and on the other side of the battle.
Here are some scriptures you’ll find encouraging.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message) says, “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Matthew 21:21 says in the Message, “But Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you'll tell, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God."
Mark 11:22 says in the Message, “Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, 'Go jump in the lake'—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it's as good as done. That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it's not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins."
Recently I happened to catch Joel Osteen on TV speaking on this very topic. He was talking about meeting a former Miss America and she’d tried to make it to the pageant for years. When she finally did, she won. They were asking her if that walk when she won was nerve racking for her, and she responded “no because in my mind I’d taken that walk hundreds of times before.”
My dear friends, we have to get to that place. Where we take hold of what God has called us to do, and know that one day you will get there. You have to fight thinking that your situation will never change. You have to take hold of the promise that you are who God says you are, you will be everything God says you will be, and the circumstances you are facing right now are temporary. God has good and perfect plans for your life, but it will be up to you if you get there. He doesn’t wave some magic wand to get you there. You have to put the work in. You have to do what He has spoken and watch eventually things will change.
Be encouraged today! God is for you. He is not against you. He wants to bring you to that new place, but will you see yourself there?